(NewsNation) — Top 2024 presidential contenders are headed to the picket lines, as nearly 19,000 auto workers are striking across 20 states demanding higher wages.
UAW workers on the picket lines are anticipating visits from both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump this week in Michigan. While the union strike against the “Big Three” automakers appears to have no end in sight, Trump is set to make a speech to union workers near Detroit on Wednesday.
“UAW has been very good to me. The members have been very good from the standpoint of voting,” Trump said.
After Trump announced his plan to visit the UAW workers, the Biden administration followed suit.
“Let’s be clear, no one wants to strike. Say it again. No one wants to strike,” Biden said.
According to Ford UAW representative Michael Marzillo, union members have mixed feelings about Biden and Trump coming to Michigan.
“Coming out as a first-time-ever president, that’s a big, huge plus. But Trump coming out, shouldn’t he be worried about his criminal cases that’s coming up,” Marzillo said.
In a post on Truth Social, Trump accused Biden of having no intention of going to visit the UAW workers until the former president announced his plans to travel to Michigan. 2024 Republican presidential candidate and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy echoed Trump’s remarks, calling Biden’s visits to Michigan a “smokescreen to deflect reality,” adding, “the picket line we need is in D.C., not Detroit.” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg defended Biden’s visit to Michigan, saying the president is “deeply pro-worker.”
“I think this is President Biden being who he is, which is a deeply pro-worker president, you know, not only compared to the anti-union tendencies of the Trump administration, but compared to any other modern president,” Buttigieg said.
UAW President Shaw Fain is withholding the union’s endorsement for the 2024 presidential election, saying that he needs to see some action rather than words.